Joanne Baker embedded collar in dogs neck, required surgery Marmora, Newmarket Ontario, Canada February 8, 2000

A Marmora woman is prohibited from having animals in her custody for two years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary pain and suffering. Joanne Baker's dog, a friendly German shepherd cross named Boomer, needed surgery to remove a collar that was too tight and had become embedded in his neck. Baker was also sentenced to two years probation and must pay $235 to the Quinte Humane Society, which rescued Boomer, paid for his surgery and rehabilitation, and placed him in a loving home.

"Boomer's neck was severely infected," said Craig Daniell, Director of Investigations for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA), which oversees animal cruelty investigations across the province. "The wound had festered and was bleeding. Ms. Baker's excuse was that she and her husband both worked and didn't have time to take him to a veterinarian."

The maximum penalty for animal abuse under the Criminal Code of Canada is six months imprisonment, a $2,000 fine, three years probation and a two-year ban on having custody of animals. "It certainly cost the Quinte Humane Society far more than $235 to treat Boomer and care for him until he was ready for adoption," said Daniell. "This case demonstrates the need for appropriate restitution in cases like this."

Connie Mallory, the Ontario SPCA's Regional Inspector for the Eastern Region, offered the following advice: Check your dog's collar every few days, especially if you have a young dog that is still growing. If you can't slip two or three fingers between the collar and your dog's skin, it's too tight.


Ontario SPCA

Quinte Humane Society